Edinburgh and Indian Creek always seem to play close boys basketball games, with their recent contests in the Johnson County Tournament even closer.
And while Tuesday’s game wasn’t a double-overtime thriller, it still added to the rivalry.
Edinburgh saw its 15-point lead whittled to one with 37 seconds left but hit 12 of 14 free throws in the fourth quarter to take a 60-57 victory against the host Braves on Tuesday night.
“We’ve been on the right side of it, but I think we were pretty fortunate tonight,” Edinburgh coach Drew Glentzer said. “We struggled at times. (The Braves) struggled at times. Our free-throw shooting at the end kind of won it for us.”
When Indian Creek sophomore Gynson Robley’s potential overtime-forcing 3-pointer bounced off the front of the rim at the buzzer, the Lancers could celebrate their fifth straight win against Indian Creek.
The game was close and exciting, especially in the fourth quarter.
“(The Braves) wanted it, and we wanted it,” Glentzer said. “It’s a good rivalry, a lot of good, fun competition. I thought both teams really competed. We just happened to make more plays at the end than they did.”
Edinburgh sophomore Bob Simpson, who finished with 14 points, opened the third quarter with five points, the last a 3-pointer, to help the Lancers to a 35-20 lead with 6:27 left in the quarter.
“(Simpson) is a kid who has struggled a little bit offensively this year,” Glentzer said. “I was happy for him to kind of get it going because he had such a good summer and played so well.”
But the Braves weren’t finished.
With a pressuring, full-court defense, they forced three turnovers, scoring off each one and helping them to an 18-6 run over the next four minutes to pull within 41-38. During the run, Robley had seven points, freshman Tim Abel scored five and sophomore Cameron Smith added four.
“(The Braves) did a great job of forcing us into, to be honest with you, almost any turnover we had was trying to get (the ball) in bounds,” Glentzer said.
Edinburgh sophomore Collin Hoskins had a team-high 17 points and 10 rebounds. He’ll help lead the Lancers against Center Grove in Friday’s second semifinal at 7:30 p.m. at Franklin.
The Lancers (5-2) led 56-50 with 52 seconds left, but Abel nailed a 3-pointer and Robley, who finished with a team-high 18 points, hit two free throws to pull the Braves within a point with 37 seconds left.
In the last few seconds, Edinburgh junior Elliott Parmer had a key steal and free throw to put pressure on the Braves.
Edinburgh got 15 points from junior Matt Heagy and 11 from senior Dakota Sneed. It outrebounded the Braves 34-23 and made 19 of 23 free throws.
Indian Creek (3-7) saw its two-game winning streak end. It plays in the fifth-place game against Greenwood at 4 p.m. Saturday at Franklin.